Wild Ones, Native Plants, Natural Landscapes is a non-profit organization dedicated to natural landscaping and related education. Wild Ones is a national organization with local chapters that serve various parts of the United States. The Greater DuPage chapter covers several counties across the western suburbs of metropolitan Chicago in Illinois. It was founded in 1991 by Vicki Nowicki and Pat Armstrong.
This local chapter provides a venue for sharing information among members about using plants adapted to the soils and climate of Chicagoland. Our gardens range in size from small areas of native plants up to full-blown prairies. Become a member of Wild Ones and explore how to grow your own natural garden or yard full of native plant species that provide wildlife habitat and an interesting landscape. Gardeners of any skill or interest level are welcome. We encourage visitors to join us at one of our meetings to hear firsthand about our group.
We have over 120 individual, household, and business memberships. See the membership page for more information about the benefits of joining The Wild Ones.
400 S. Eagle St.
Room C (lower level)
Naperville, IL 60540
Primary meeting location. Free parking is available in the garage at the south side of the building.
Willowbrook Wildlife Center
525 S Park Blvd
Glen Ellyn, IL 60137
Alternate meeting location. See calendar entry for details related to a specific month's meeting.
Events we sponsor include:
For details about upcoming monthly meetings and special events, see calendar below.
Apr 27, 2013 (Sat)
Trillium Walk at Meacham Grove Forest Preserve in Roselle-Bloomingdale
6N050 Rosedale Rd., Bloomingdale
Our walk will be on the west side of Meacham Grove, a 0.5-mile looped path, which is designated solely for foot traffic and features spectacular spring displays of native trillium. Forest Preserve District Natural Resource Management volunteer coordinator, Cindy Hedges, has invited 12-20 Lake Park High School students to join us. We will split into two groups if there is a large turnout. Since we are taking the west loop, park at 6N050 Rosedale Rd., Bloomingdale.
From I-355, take U.S. Hwy. 20 (Lake St.) 0.45 mile west of Bloomingdale Rd. to the first traffic light which is Rosedale Ave. Turn right, north, and go two blocks. Parking is on the west side of the road; the trailhead is on the east side. We’ll walk in about 0.5 mile before reaching the trillium trail
May 04, 2013 (Sat)
Yard Tour and Woodland Walk
1:30 to 2:20 p.m.
5138 Lee Avenue, Downers Grove
Kathy’s goal is to create a wildlife habitat. After two years of work on her yard, she is well on her way with shady natives along the creek, brush piles and elderberry shrubs. She wants to add more native shrubs and welcomes ideas. Her sun-loving natives will likely not be evident yet. From I-355, take Maple Ave. east to Lee, turn left and go two blocks.
2:30 p.m. Maple Grove Forest Preserve is a springtime gem, the largest remaining remnant of the vast maple forest that became Downers Grove and one of the oldest forest preserves in DuPage County. Strolling along the well-worn trails, we expect to see carpets of trillium, buttercups and wild geraniums blooming throughout the forest. From Kathy Olson’s, go back to Maple Ave., turn left and left again into the parking lot by the Memorial Park baseball diamond.
Jun 22, 2013 (Sat)
Glacial Park Hike
31 and Harts Road, Ringwood, IL
After hearing all about Hackmatack National Wildlife Refuge at our March meeting, we asked Steve Byers about the best visitor-ready site, and he recommended a field trip to Glacial Park in McHenry County. More than 3,000 acres in size, this park has a lot to see: Nippersink Creek runs through the valley floor surrounded by gravel kames. Four miles of hiking trails lead to Kettle Bog and Lost Valley Marsh. There is a short video that will give you a good sampling.
We plan to meet at the Lost Valley Visitor Center at 10:30. Allow approximately 90 minutes for the drive. If you want to carpool, contact Mark Bavetz, firstname.lastname@example.org, (630) 752-9243. Driving directions: Rte. 31 North to Harts Road and west to the park entrance. Take the right fork and park by the Visitor Center where we will gather for a moderately strenuous hike. Wear appropriate shoes and gear; bring snacks or a sack lunch and drinking water.
Jul 13, 2013 (Sat)
Show-Me/Help-Me Yard Tours
7 Maple Lane, Naperville
Christine’s yard backs up to the DuPage River, and she has tried various native plants along the banks with limited success. She would like some expert advice on what to plant, what to pull and how to stabilize the area. She has done a lot of restoration work in her shady back yard and has sun-loving natives in front of the house.
916 West Jefferson, Naperville
Just a few blocks away, Herb has a landscape of flowering prairie plants and grasses in his rear yard, now in their second year. He is asking for ideas of what to add. One of his projects this year is a straw-bale vegetable garden. His tool shed was built out of old barn wood from the family farm, and his yard also features a genuine shepherd’s wagon from Wyoming and a teepee.
Aug 24, 2013 (Sat)
Annual Greater DuPage Wild Ones Picnic
Herrick Lake East Pavilion
580 Naperville Road
Wheaton, IL 60187
You won’t want to miss our picnic this year! This spacious picnic facility has a lot to offer: grills, electricity, restroom facilities and, best of all, canoe rentals for paddling around on the lake. We’ll supply hot dogs and veggie burgers for grilling. Bring a dish to share with your Wild Ones friends.
Contact Pat Clancy email@example.com to be counted.
President: Steve Windsor
Vice President: Pat Armstrong
Secretary: Lois Michael-Perry
Treasurer: Rich Whitney
Terms end on December 31st. We line up our leadership and committees for the coming year in October. Open positions can be filled anytime. Please consider sharing your interest by getting involved in one of these capacities. Help support the healthy continuation and growth of our chapter. Duties are flexible; if you think you can help in any way contact one of the people listed above. There is a strong core of former officers still very much involved in the group who will be happy to help anyone new coming on board. Board meetings are held monthly on the second Friday of the month.
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Updated: Apr 21, 2013.